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J Med Microbiol. 2011 Jun;60(Pt 6):803-11. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.028159-0. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Multilocus sequence typing of Mycoplasma agalactiae.

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Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Weybridge), Woodham Lane, Addlestone, Surrey KT153NB, UK.


Mycoplasma agalactiae is the main cause of contagious agalactia, a serious disease of sheep and goats, which has major clinical and economic impacts. We have developed a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme using the sequenced genomes of the M. agalactiae strains PG2 and 5632. An MLST scheme based on the genes gltX, metS, gyrB, tufA and dnaA was designed and in total 3468 bp of sequence were analysed for each strain. MLST offers a highly discriminatory typing method for M. agalactiae and was capable of subdividing 53 strains into 17 distinct sequence types, largely according to geographical origin. MLST detected unexpected diversity in recent isolates from Spain, identifying two novel outliers, and enabled typing of novel Mongolian isolates for the first time. Genetic diversity in the sequenced regions was largely due to mutation, with recombination playing a much smaller role. A web-accessible database has been set up for this MLST scheme for M. agalactiae: MLST offers a robust, objective molecular epidemiological tool for M. agalactiae that that enables interlaboratory comparison of data.

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